‘Despite Being a Star, Virat Kohli..’: Pakistan Pacer Naseem Shah Praises India Batting Maestro

Last Updated: February 19, 2024, 16:44 IST

Naseem Shah (left) and Virat Kohli (Agencies)

Naseem Shah (left) and Virat Kohli (Agencies)

Naseem Shah praises Virat Kohli and considers Kane Williamson as the toughest batter to bowl to in Test cricket.

During the Asia Cup 2023,  visuals of India batting superstar Virat Kohli interacting with Pakistan players went viral on social media. Despite the tense on-field rivalry between India and Pakistan, the players of the two teams share a warm relationship.

Kohli was seen sharing a joke or two with Pakistan allrounder Shadab Khan during rain-forced break. India would go on to win the tournament beating Sri Lanka in the final while Pakistan bowed out from the Super Four stage.

Midway through the tournament, Pakistan suffered a big injury blow in fast bowler Naseem Shah who hurt his shoulder. He underwent surgery in the UK and it kept him on the sidelines for over five months.

Not only did Shah miss the rest of the Asia Cup, he was also ruled out from the ODI World Cup held in India.

The 21-year-old recently returned to competitive cricket in the Pakistan Super League (PSL), turning out for Islamabad United. He bowled four overs and took 1/36.

In an interview, Shah praised Kohli for his ‘humble’ nature despite being a big sports star.

“Virat Kohli cracks jokes in Punjabi with Shadab. He’s very humble. He always greets us before a match which is very nice. He has no air about him being a sports star. Obviously, when playing, he’s very focused but off the field, he’s very normal,” Shah told Samaa TV.

Shah has played 17 Tests, 14 ODIs and 19 T20Is for Pakistan since making his debut in November 2019 when he was just 15 years old.

The recent meetings between India and Pakistan have been pretty one-sided. The two opponents square off only in global or continental tournaments due to the suspension of bilateral cricket ties.

India have emerged victorious seven out of their last 10 contests in ODIs with Pakistan winning twice while one producing no result.

In 12 T20Is between the two teams, India have won nine times while Pakistan just thrice.

We have good performances against India too, have beaten them in the world cup (T20 World Cup 2022). India are no doubt one of the best teams in the world. It’s a game, some times you lose. There are times when things aren’t going your way then any team can beat you,” Shah said when asked if Pakistan are failing to handle the pressure of facing India.

When asked which batter is the toughest to bowl to, Shah said, Kane Williamson in Test cricket. You have to be very consistent against him, have to bowl in the right areas to dismiss him.”

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